South West APC Rejects Buhari’s Second Term Talks
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The South-West chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC has rejected talks of second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming 2019 election.
The stand of the region was made clear by the former acting Chairman of the ruling party, Chief Bisi Akande on Thursday after the meeting of the APC South-West stakeholders at the executive chamber of the Oyo State governor’s office in Ibadan.
According to the South West leaders, President Buhari has not told them he was contesting for the 2019 presidency, hence, they are not aware.
When asked if the party would pick Buhari as its presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Akande said the party would take a decision at the appropriate time.
He added, “He has not told us that he is contesting again. Anybody in our party is free to become the President of Nigeria. As soon as they indicate interest, we will set a process through which a candidate is elected.
“If he (Buhari) is lucky to have the ticket, we will present him as our candidate.”
He said what the South-West leaders of the party were advocating was devolution of powers from the centre to the states and local governments.
Akande, a former Osun State governor, stated, “The APC leaders from the South-West, together with our members in government at the state and the national levels, met to review what we decided at the last meeting in January 2017 and to see whether the efforts of our leaders in government have been fruitful.
“We are happy that we have had a happy meeting. Our governors and ministers are performing satisfactorily.”
Akande told newsmen that restructuring was not the language of the APC, adding that it was not in its constitution or manifesto.
“Restructuring is not our language, go and ask those who are advocating restructuring to define it.
What we want is devolution of functions from the centre to the states and the local governments. Restructuring is the language of other groups of people. Restructuring is not in the APC constitution or manifesto,” he said.
Speaking of the forthcoming Osun and Ekiti governorship elections, Akande said the party was ready to put an end to the reign of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State.
He, however, said the meeting focused on governance and not electoral matters.
“We tried to review our position and we are poised to see, as a party, what we will be able to do to have Ekiti State back. We are concerned about the services of our government to the people rather than electoral matters.
“The decision of this meeting is about how to advise the government to allow the states that have land to practise agriculture and improve their education,” said Akande.
Among those who were present at the meeting were the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; his counterpart from Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Osun State Governor, Rafiu Aregbesola; and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
Also in attendance were the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; a former Oyo State governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala; a former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Lasun; and the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.
A National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, was said to be unavoidably absent as he had earlier made plans to be at the meeting.